PARTNERSHIP: Consumers are involved in strategy, governance and driving projects
The Medical Research Future Fund has a stated objective for grants to maximise opportunities for research translation by engaging with consumers.
What does that look like when consumers are involved at the very earliest stages of a study, and are integrated into the project team, guiding and influencing outcomes along the way?
PARTNERSHIP, CONSULTING, INVOLVING: Paying consumers fairly
VCCC has a new process, providing financial recognition to people who contribute to research development, cancer care and cancer workforce education, when involved as active partners in our work.
The VCCC consumer remuneration model in the Consumer Engagement Toolkit defines various consumer activities with segmented levels of participation for a consistent payment schedule across programs.
PARTNERSHIP: Researchers partnering with consumers
Much of the research in Australia is dependent upon receiving a grant. Consumers are playing an increasingly important role in labs to gain funding, and the Medical Research Future Fund has a stated objective to maximise opportunities for research translation by engaging with consumers.
Sophy Athan has firsthand experience of assisting a research team to secure funding which resulted in a successful grant from the Movember Prostate Cancer Research Alliance.
INFORMING: Consumers gain information
The VCCC shares areas of public interest in cancer research and clinical care, and regularly hosts free, open forums to promote knowledge-sharing and understanding.
Information of these community touch-points is available on the VCCC website and is promoted across the alliance and through organisations such as Cancer Council Victoria and through hospital communications teams. Consumers are welcome and encouraged to attend these events.
CONSULTING: Consumers as educators
The Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners program is an educational program which is presented as a four week, part-time massive open online course (MOOC) to assist GPs and community healthcare professionals to support their cancer patients through all stages of the disease. The course was developed collaboratively with the University of Melbourne and the VCCC, and consumers were involved from the beginning.
INVOLVING: Consumer involvement in a project
Expanding Australia’s clinical trial activity calls for a highly trained workforce. The VCCC, with the Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit has created a clinical trial pipeline to train Clinical Trial Assistants and Study Coordinators giving them the ability to immediately step into key roles.
Involving a consumer in the selection of candidates – and on the interview panel - for the annual program provides benefits for the candidates and future employers of clinical trials staff.
INVOLVING: Consumers as part of the team
Expanding Australia's clinical trial activity calls for a highly trained workforce. The VCCC, with the Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, has created a clinical trial pipeline to train Clinical Trial Assistants and Study Coordinators, providing a path into key roles.
Involving a consumer in the selection of candidates – and on the interview panel – for the annual program provides benefits for the candidates and future employers of clinical trials staff.
PARTNERSHIP: Consumer and researcher partnership
Associate Professor Niall Corcoran brought together a new combination of investigators to develop a research proposal that received $4 million from the Movember Foundation and the Australian Government to develop a test for prostate cancer prognosis and advancement risk. Consumers partnered with the researchers involved to produce the grant proposal, respond to grant application requirements and co-design the research.